Air Force Combat Controllers (CCT)

Let’s take a quick look at the United States Air Force combat controllers, or CCTs, and their command structure. People training and missions combat controllers, or CCTs, are battlefield airmen who are a part of special tactics and assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command, or AFSOC, which is the Air Force’s component of the US Special Operations Command, or SOCOM. In a gross oversimplification, CCTs do everything this air traffic control tower does, but they do it out of a backpack and in the middle of a war zone. CCT candidates are 17 to 30 year old men who have earned a minimum score of 30 on the CCT selection model, successfully completed this CCT physical ability and stamina test, or passed who passed physical and medical standards, and who can pass a national and local agency background check. CCT training is almost two years long with an incredibly high washout rate.

After basic training, candidates attend a two week long combat control selection course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The next step is a combat control operators course at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. Then they go to jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia. Next is the three week long Air Force Basic Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. And then they attend the 13 week combat Control School at Pope Field, North Carolina.

Graduates of the combat control School are awarded their three skill level on their Air Force specialty code and are given their scarlet berets with a CCT flash. After CCTs gain their three level, they attend special tactics advanced skills training for twelve to 15 months as part of the Special Tactics Training Squadron located at Herbert Field, Florida. During advanced skills training, combat controllers attend two more advanced courses. The Army Military Freefall Parachuteist School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in Yuma proving grounds, Arizona, and the Air Force Combat Diver School at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center. Naval Support activity, Panama City, Florida.

CCTs are the only soft career field which brings the air traffic control capability. Their motto is first there, and their missions include fire support, air liaison. This is when CCTs advise ground commanders on the best use of air power. Most often, their missions are close air support and air traffic control. Okay, there you have it, an executive summary of combat controllers.

I met my first ccts at dive school. Back then, the air Force soft guys went to our special forces underwater operations school. It was fun working with them because they were young, they were motivated, and they could run like the wind. Some of these guys are true heroes. Here’s a famous picture of the first special forces detachment in Afghanistan.

This gentleman is a CCT. Like all ccts, they deploy anywhere in the world at any time to leverage their expertise for the success of the mission. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe and to forward to a friend who also needs to know this life is a special operation. Are you ready for it’s.

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